Neil Bruwer has been appointed head winemaker of Chamonix in Franschhoek. Bruwer, who worked as junior-winemaker at Chamonix from January 2016 to August 2018, returns to the farm after gaining experience in the cellars and vineyards of Stella Bella Winery in West Australia and Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon.
According to Chamonix CEO Stefan van Rooyen, Bruwer has built-up a wealth of experience at a relatively young age and is the ideal candidate to continue ensuring Chamonix upholds its reputation as one of South Africa’s leading wine farms.
“At 27 years of age, Neil has worked at some of the Cape’s leading wine estates as well as spreading his wings to experience wine-making in Oregon and Australia,” says Van Rooyen. “Together with his two-and-a-half years of working closely with former wine-maker Thinus Neethling, Neil knows the vineyards and wines of Chamonix extremely well and shares our vision of continuing to be seen as a leading South African winery known for a range of terroir-expressive wines reflecting the unique site of our Franschhoek location.”
Among Chamonix’s accolades are Tim Atkin 1st Growth Status as well as Platter’s Winery of the Year for 2013.
Bruwer says he is relishing the task of being at the helm of Chamonix. “Returning to the cellar and these mountain vineyards is like coming home,” he says. “Coming back as head-winemaker is an extra bonus and I am honoured to be part of a team committed to ensuring Chamonix maintains and extends its status as one of the country’s top-producers. Yes, we will be continuing our focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the two wines on which much of our reputation is based. But I am enormously enthusiastic about extending this to the quality Cabernet Franc, Pinotage and Chenin Blanc Chamonix is capable of making.”
Bruwer is a graduate of Elsenburg and was educated at Tygerberg High School in Cape Town.